Loan extended - 24/12/2003

My loan spell here at Southend has been extended until the end of December. Before the end of the month, but probably not until as late as the 30th, Iíll find out if it will continue until the end of the season. Thereís been a lot of communication between the clubs and myself. I am involved but my agent sorts most of it out. I would like to stay as Iím getting first team football on a regular basis, something I wasnít getting at Derby. Iím currently in digs at the moment, but Iíve still got my apartment in Derby. Of course once I find out if Iím going to stay until the end of the season Iíd find somewhere to rent here in Southend. It would be nice to get it all sorted so that I knew one way or another, but this is what happens in football and you just get used to it.

Weíve had quite a few games recently. We lost 3-0 against Torquay. A lot of our players had come down with the flu just prior to that game. We were down to the bare bones with that one, we only had 15 fit players, the coach had to put himself on the bench! It was a real struggle as a result, and not an enjoyable game.

But after that we had the FA Cup game against Lincoln. Most of the players had recovered from the flu for this game. And I got to play as Derby had given me permission. It does mean that should I go to another club I would be cup tied, but it was a great game and Iím pleased to take part so I think I made the right decision. And even better we won 3-0!  This means weíre through to the next round and weíve got Scarborough in early January. This is a game we should win as weíre the professional side and are expected to get through. It would be fantastic to make it through to the next round of the FA Cup.

The game against Swansea was just amazing. Iíve never played in a game like it. We went 1-0 down and had a player sent off after 20 minutes. But ended the game with just 8 players and won 3-2! The 2 other players were sent off after a mix up with the linesman about a disputed corner/goal kick decision. It was alleged they swore at the linesman, but theyíve both denied it. You can imagine how tough it was playing with 8 men, against a full team. It was hard work but we managed it and the win gave the whole club such an enormous lift.

The game against Bristol Rovers wasnít so good, especially for me as I came off after half an hour. My hamstring had felt tight for a few days before the game and I thought it would be okay. But during the game I felt it tighten, my movement was restricted and it was hard to sprint, and because I didnít want to risk tearing it I came off. I feel I made the right decision as if I had stayed on and torn my hamstring then Iíd have been out for 6 Ė 8 weeks. But Iíve had some treatment on it which includes stretches and massages, and the physio has done a good job on it so I should be fit for the Boxing Day against Cambridge. If the injury had been more serious than I would have had to let Derby know and they would want to be involved, but as it was quite minor, there was no need to let them know.

The Rio Ferdinand ban shocked me. I was never expecting it to be for that length of time. I thought it would be for 3 months or so. It would be awful if he missed the European Championships next summer. Theyíll appeal probably but how long with that drag on for?

Weíre heading into the Christmas season now and Iíll be training Christmas morning for an hour and half or so and then the plan is to drive to Birmingham and spend the afternoon and evening with family. Iíll have to drive to the Cambridge game on Boxing Day. I havenít been home as much as I would like really, as itís been so busy. I do miss Derby, the players as well as friends in the area, but Iím on the phone quite a lot. But saying that I am enjoying it here, thereís a good bunch of lads at the club and I do feel part of the team. We had a Christmas night out on Saturday in London, which was good. Iíve left all my Christmas shopping to the last minute again, so Iíll be doing it on Christmas Eve, now thatís going to be fun!


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